Sharing information learned from over 30 years of experience about plants, their care, soil requirements, successful establishment practices and beneficial relationship to wildlife is our primary purpose, however questions about products, root prune techniques and consulting services are welcome as well.
Looking for any additioinal suggestions for vole control in apple / crabbapple trees?
I've lost four more apple tree's since last fall due to girdling...I had installed weed mats w/ vent portion of tree shelter pushed in ground...the voles burrowed under weed mats & tree shelter, crawled inside vent portion of tree shelter & girdled the lower 6-8 inches of 3 two year old crabapple & an 8 year old common apple tree.
I've purchased your three times a charm (Qty. 10) & double red crabbapple seedlings for this spring's planting. This year I purchased mulch & spread a 3 1/2 ft diameter circle around 5 inches deep. Also left tree wraps on three times a charm apple trees...installed 4ft tree protector...supported with a t-post...then wrapped everything w/ 1/4" hardware cloth 3ft tall (cut in 24" lengths...formed circle...slid down over everything & pushed into ground 3/4 inch. ty wraps w/ 18 lbs breaking strength is holding hardware cloth together in a circle...my hope is that when tree gets large enough, it might break ty wraps if I don't get harware cloth loosened up in time.
All trees were planted 20 ft from tree line of woods in sod of hay field. Lots of voles in area...even had them crawling inside my ground blinds with me last fall...very large rascles. Last year I only made it to the location twice all summer as it is back in the sticks. lol Never got around to mowing around trees last fall for the first time...hope to get that done this fall.
Is there anything else I can try?
Also wondering if there is a post emergence herbicide that can be applied to kill grass that will not harm apple tree's planted this spring or ones planted 2+ years ago?
Sorry for the long post...I've lost 10 three times a charm apple trees & probably close to 15 crabbapple trees that can be linked to voles since beginning my project of planting apple / crabbapple trees. Some other casualties were due to weed control that I tried addressing a couple years ago with vispore weed mats. I've got 5-6 johnny come lately / purple haze crabbapple's that have produces olive sized fruit the last two years that were from my original planting nearly 8 years ago. Have two Crimeson Gold Crabs planted two years ago (I think) from seedlings that are 6-7 ft tall (very fast growers), several red bunches crabs that believe are close to being able to produce fruit, along with a couple others (whitney crabs I think) that are just over 6ft tall.
Is there such a thing as an apple/ crabapple tree less desirable to voles?
How large of caliber at the base does a tree need to be to become less desirable to voles or will they always be suceptible regardless of size?
Have always recieved your trees in "Great Shape" I will continue to "Fight the Good Fight" with voles.
Should I be removing my weed mats that have been in place for two or three years & replace with mulch or should I leave them be?
Currently all my trees have the vent portion of tree shelter's or 1/4 in hardward cloth installed to protect trunks from voles.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have in regards to protecting apple trees from voles....
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